Arsenal managed an impressive win against Bayern Munich but it was not enough to put them through to the next stage of the Champions League. In post-match statements, Wenger focused more on how his team performed and insisted on letting both fans and the press know that the team can compete at the highest level possible even without players such as Thomas Vermaelen or Szczesny, who missed the confrontation with the German side.
Most say that this is Wenger’s way of preparing fans for some major changes during the summer transfer period. Barcelona have expressed their interest in Arsenal’s captain, who has been playing for the Gunners for quite a while now, but has yet to manage to win a trophy. As far as Szczesny goes, rumors have it that he will be replaced at the start of the next season, especially considering some big names like Valdes or Reina looking for a change in scenery.
Arsenal’s coach also spoke about how none of the current players are irreplaceable and how the competition for a spot in the first 11 is tighter than ever. Even with several injuries putting a dent in the teams’ availability, it looks like Wenger is confident he has all the right artillery to handle any adversary.
As Arsenal prepare to face Swansea for the fourth time this season with a win a piece to each team and a draw so far with Swansea beating the Gunners in the league at the Emirates in December on the back of a late brace from the sensational Michu, then drawing in the FA Cup at the Liberty Stadium before the Gunners won the FA Cup replay. So Arsenal will be looking to stop Swansea from winning four in a row at home for the first time in the Premier League and the Swans are a formidable proposition at the Liberty.
It will be interesting to see if Wenger has worked out the appropriate tactics to handle Swansea as Michael Laudrup has proven to be an excellent tactician and his team look as comfortable on the ball as Wenger’s teams of the mid noughtie’s did when the likes of Pires, Bergkamp and Henry were on a different planet.
Currently there is a long list of unavailable players who are considered to be Arsenal’s backbone. Gibbs is not yet fully recovered after almost two months spent recovering after a nasty injury. Sagna seems to have some knee problems that have been haunting him since September and Wilshere is out because of an ankle injury. Podolski is also unavailable because of an ankle problem. With all of these injuries, Wenger is still optimistic and says that the Gunners will defeat Swansea and keep up their challenge for a place in the Premier League top 4.